“Desserts are the fairy-tales of the kitchen, a happily-ever-after to a supper” (Terri Guillemets).
Jamie Oliver is a name that needs no introduction, the guy is a culinary genius and the best thing about him is that anything that he creates is extremely casual in style. Yes, maybe if you visit his fancy resturants, you might feel the extravagance of food presentation and representation but when he teaches, he teaches im the most casual of manner, everyday brim, family dinner, breakfast, brunch or lunch time food. I am an avid follower of his, I have learned so many bits and bots of cooking and tips to evolve as a cook from him and I can’t get enough of the man’s food; in all honesty, I truly believe there should be a whole cuisine named after him, Jamie’s cuisine, perhaps.
So, anyway, a few months ago, I started recording his 15 minute meals programme on television, which I go through one by one from time to time to see what he’s cooking up in his kitchen and I came across his Lemon Curd Hazelnut Parfaits. I had no idea how the flavours would work, I only knew it would be very sour because of the lemon curd and being me, a lemon and zesty lover, I ran to the store to buy the ingredients and made it the same day. The other thing that compelled me towards this gorgeous dessert was his presentation with layers of curd and roasted hazelnut, vividly vibrant raspberries, cream and chocolate shavings and ofcourse to give it a pop a mint leaf as garnish; I fell in love.
The flavours are everything you would hope for, sweet and sour, perfectly balanced, both very strong. If you are not a fan of tartness, zest and citrus, you will not like this dessert. I suppose, it’s like Marmite, you either hate it or you love it, the one who loves it won’t understand why anyone would hate it and the one who hates it would find it hard to comprehend what is there to love about it. Same principle applies to lemony desserts, those who love it are in their sweet and sour heaven, those who don’t are feeling like hell just by the thought of it.
This dessert is super quick and super easy. Once you have your hazelnuts roasted, your cream whipped and your chocolate shaved, it’s all about layering, garnish and tossing it in the fridge to chill. It can’t get any easier or any tastier than this.
The zestyness of the dessert not only comes from the lemon curd but also from the raspberries which compliments each other. However, because the lemon curd is extremely sweet and sour, the whipped cream is completely plain to balance it out and which works perfectly. The hazelnuts are roasted to release all their natural goodness of aroma and flavour and crushed into a course powder to make the base. The citrus is contrasted with the spicy sharp ginger biscuit flavour and that which also offers a crunch to the dessert. If you are thinking maybe you can easily omit an ingredient here and there, I would say, don’t. This is a perfect amalgamation of flavours which can’t get any better than what it already is. I love the chocolate shavings on the top as they make the whole look of the dessert gorgeously elegant. The whole dessert with the shavings and the Mint garnish, speaks volume of sophistication to a very casual dessert and as Jamie says it best “I know it looks very chefy but a raving idiot can do it”.
The whole dessert is a sweet and sour symphony and a dessert lovers euphoria. You can’t go wrong with this dessert.
Just look how gorgeous that truly is.
Hazelnuts — 50g (8 tbsp)
Butter — 50g (2 1/2 tbsp)
Gingernut Biscuits — 8
Creme’ Fraiche/fresh cream — 280ml
Icing Sugar — 1 tsp
Vanilla extract — 1 tsp
Lemom Curd (store-bought) — 1 cup
Raspberries — 1 cup
Chocolate shavings — to garnish
Mint leaves — to garnish
- In a blender, blitz the hazulents into a coarse powder and add to a pan. Toast the hazulents only until the smell starts coming through, add the butter and turn the heat off. Do not burn the hazelnuts, they will become bitter.
- Blitz the ginger biscuits in the blender into crumbs and add it to the toasted hazelnuts and mix. Set it aside.
- In small wide glasses, add a generous layer of the crumb mixture and add dollops of lemon curd on top.
- Add in 3 or 4 raspberries.
- Whip the cream with icing Sugar and vanilla essence until soft peaks form.
- Layer a dollop of cream on top of the curd and raspberries.
- Add a couple more raspberries on top.
- Add mint leaves.
- Shave the chocolate bar with a clean knife, taking the knife and scraping the chocolate on the back side which is smooth to make chocolate rolls or use a grater to grate the chocolate to make shavings.
- Sprinkle the chocolate on top of the dessert and place in the fridge to chill.
~ Happy Foodieating ~